The early stories of the shooting in Orlando last week reported 50 dead. Now the official count is 49. Because the shooter is not a victim, we do not count him. We do not count Omar Mateen.
In his Boston Globe column this week, Kevin Cullen compares Omar Mateen to Tamerlan Tsarnaev, one of the Boston Marathon bombers.
So the guy who shot up the Pulse nightclub in Orlando admired the Boston Marathon bombers.
No surprise, really, that a murderous, disaffected loser who became an Islamic extremist would look up to two other murderous, disaffected losers who became Islamic extremists.
In fact, Omar Mateen was a regular chip off the old block when it came to Tamerlan Tsarnaev. They were both self-styled tough guys who wrapped themselves in self-righteous religiosity and beat their women.
Cullen’s tone throughout the column is one of disparagement and disdain of these “losers.” He concludes:
It is not a surprise that Omar Mateen would admire and emulate the Tsarnaev brothers, because he was just as hateful, just as delusional, as they were.
Like the Tsarnaevs, he killed some of us. Like the Tsarnaevs, he brought more of us together. Like the Tsarnaevs, he’s learned there’s no paradise for murderers.
As a Universalist, I count Omar Mateen. Universalism declares that Godlove is big enough to include everyone. We come from Godlove and we return to Godlove. No. Matter. What.
I count Omar Mateen because, in the words of Maya Angelou:
I’m a child of God…the “It” which made fleas and mountains, rivers and stars . . . made me. What I pray for is humility to know that there is something greater than “I”… I have to know that the brute, the bigot, and the batterer are all children of God, whether they know it or not, and I’m supposed to treat them accordingly.
The brute. The bigot. The batterer. All children of God.
Omar Mateen counts. Whether I care about him or not. Whether I understand him or not. Whether I forgive him or not. If anyone gets into paradise, so does he. Godlove is THAT big.